Issues of Room Services:


Fandy Susanto

In the 1980s & 1990's, Jakarta was like a blending pot of the Eastern & Western pop culture. Kids were equally influenced by the Japanese & the American culture, including the young Fandy Susanto.

Born into the world like a blank canvas in 1983, he too was anormously exposed to things like Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird's Teenange Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, as well as Japanese cartoons such as Anpanman & perhaps some Saint Seiya. His Sundays were filled with morning TV programmes, co-gaming with friends & playing with action figures from Playmates, Hasbro, and Bandai.

This time, Detlef Schrempf had a chance to talk a bit about his childhood in a suburb in Jakarta, and of course, about his toys & game collections, music, and how he decorated his small but cozy room. Enjoy!

Words, Interview & Photography by Detlef Schrempf (2021)

Room Service

You were born in the early 80's and grew up in a suburb in Jakarta; it was not an ideal place to get great toys collections and rare games such as in the California USA, or Tokyo Japan, how did you manage to feed your childhood 'thirst' of these things?

I didn't have much strategy during those days other than wishing my parents could read my mind and buy me toys. But at least we had the tv and the popular culture was so big, and we also had some cool places like Hoya, Toys r us or Glodok that imported lots of rare video games and toys. The other important thing was, when we grew up we're surrounded by friends and neighbours who had exactly the same interest, so we talked games and toys everyday at school. Other than that, I read lots of magazine such as Gamepro, EGM, and Slam. I also read Japanese comics, Indonesia distributed lots of unofficial Japanese comics which was woohoo.

But even the magazines were quite hard to get right?

Yes it was hard to get imported magazine, but we digged quite deeply, we found some places that distributed those mags. I remember one small shop at Mall Kelapa Gading and the other one at Mall Taman Anggrek.

I know satellite TV was popular back then; like TV channels from nearby countries, did you watch them too?

Yes I watched mostly Japanese cartoons like Tsubasa and Anpanman from a Malaysian channel haha. While we could watched the more popular ones like TMNT, MOTU, or The Simpsons from the local channels.

You got a varied collections. I noticed toys from 80's, 90's, 2000's, up until recent stuff. Why did you choose this way of fulfilling you room?

I always have my eyes on 90s stuff, and I enjoy romanticize my childhood time. That's why I'd like to be surrounded by all the things that could easily transport me back to the 90s. 90s were so gold if we talked to each other who grew up at the same era, we understand that we always want to go back to that time.

Speaking of limited resources and supplies, or even a terrible lack of imported toys & games back then; pre-Amazon, eBay, an so on. What are the holy grails that you are aiming to get soon? and obviously, how are you planning to get them?

I don't normally have list until recently. I normally want everything I fell in love with, which is not very healthy. But what I want in near (feasible) future are: the complete TMNT Toons, 1990 Turtle Copter, 1990 Module Mutant, 1980 Fisher Price Vinyl Player. But again I don't really have a big holy grails bucket list.

Please list 3 of your most favourite stuff in your room (perhaps, also tell us where and how did you get them). Things you are most proud of; things that took your guts & glory (and money of course) to get them.

1. Winning Eleven Gameboy Advance. It's my first online purchase back when I was in the university. I bought it from the US and it took 2 goddamn months to arrive. Cost me around AUD 100 if I was not mistaken.

2. Jikkyou J-League Nintendo 64. Grandma bought this for us, I remember playing this for hundreds of hours. We played every feature the game had, I tried every team, I used every player. Imagine Dunga played for Jubilo Iwata or King Kazu Miura at Verdy Kawasaki. Graphic was fantastic! Gameplay was crazy fun.

3. 'My First Sony' tape deck. I bought it online from the US. Not even sure it would arrived safely, but bought it anyway. It reminds me right during the 90s time and this one triggered me to collect retro music players. Now I own 5 of the 'My First Sony' series. Still looking for more.

This is the end of the short interview with Fandy Susanto, we hope this could become an inspiration for all of us in nurturing our passion. Below are the rest of the pictures we took while interviewing him at his small, humble, yet a hair-raising room. Detlef Schrempf will keep searching for spaces / rooms like this; and if you got any recommendations or a slightest idea of whose room we could check, please let us know: @detlef.scrempf